What are they?
Apprenticeships combine study with practical on-the-job training - If you are aged 16 or over, living in England and not in full-time education/about to leave education you are eligible to become an apprentice. During this time you will work alongside experienced staff, gain job-specific skills, earn a wage and get paid holidays, all while working towards a job related qualification
Apprenticeships last for a minimum of 12 months and can take between 1 to 4 years to complete depending on the subject level. They must be delivered by an Approved Apprenticeship Training Provider who is on the Government Register (RoATP), must be full time and combine a minimum of 20% off the job training with on the job development.
What will I get paid?
The National Minimum Apprenticeship Wage increased to £3.50 per hour in April 2017. This rate applies to apprentices under 19 and those aged 19 or over who are in their first year of their apprenticeship. That being said, some employers do pay more so it’s beneficial to look at what the employer is offering and other benefits of working with that company.
Another suggestion is to find out what their statistics look like; how many of their apprentices complete successfully and go on into further employment of progression within the company? It is worthwhile taking all these factors into account before making a decision, as you want to make sure that whatever apprenticeship you chose will benefit you as an individual.
But what can apprenticeship qualifications be compared to?
Intermediate apprenticeships (Level 2) are equivalent to 5 GCSEs A* - C or 4 - 9 on the new grading structure
Advanced apprenticeships (Level 3) are equivalent to 2 A-Levels
Higher apprenticeships (Levels 4,5,6 & 7) are equivalent to foundation degree and above
Degree apprenticeships (Level 6 & 7) are equivalent to a full Bachelors or Master’s Degree
So if I’m interested, what next?
From Spring 2017 the way the government funds apprenticeships is changing, one main aspect of this is that large employers will be required to contribute to an apprenticeship levy. Employers are also at the forefront of developing apprenticeship standards to ensure new entrants are equipped with skills, knowledge and behaviours required to work in their chosen industry.
There will be new and exciting opportunities for staff to progress and for new recruits to start with employers on higher, degree, professional and new employer led Standards (Trailblazers). Apprenticeships will not be restricted by age, so this means more progression opportunities and a wider range of apprenticeship types on offer.
There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in apprenticeships or choose an apprenticeship as your first step on the ladder.
If you feel ready to take a step onto the career ladder rather than head onto higher education an apprenticeship could be perfect for you.
There are up to 28,000 apprenticeship vacancies available on the ‘find an apprenticeship’ site in a variety of careers and industries across England. Visit Find an apprenticeship. You can search by keyword (job role, occupation type or apprenticeship level) and by location.
Our team here at Doncaster Works can help you to make decisions and find the right apprenticeship for you. Contact us on 01302 735556.
Who else can help and advise me?
If you are in school ask your careers advisor.
If you want to speak to someone outside of school ConnectU2 and the National Careers Service are a good place to start.
If you are unemployed and aged 16 to 18, Doncaster Council’s Participation & Transition Service can provide impartial information, advice and guidance to support you into employment, education or training. Let us guide you to make the right decision for the future.
The National Careers Service
The National Careers service provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work. They can assess your skills, view job profiles and help you to find courses. The service offers confidential and impartial advice and is supported by qualified careers advisers. To find out more visit nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk